Fun things to do in Lake Wallenpaupack, PA: The 2nd largest lake contained entirely in the state of Pennsylvania!

 

Lake Wallenpaupack, PA

When our pack (my wife, myself, and our dog Toby) lived in the state of Pennsylvania from 2007 until we sold the place to retire early in August 2020, we visited quite a few places near and far from our home in the suburbs of Philadelphia.  We would take many day trips to explore the great outdoors, especially with our energetic Pomeranian dog Toby, nudging us to go walking on weekends.

Thanks to our Toby, exploring new places were fun, and we owe him a great deal for making us embrace nature and all its incredible beauty.  We explored places like Ricketts Glen State Park, World’s End S.P., and Promised Land S.P. together, happily spending time walking/hiking/exploring some of the most beautiful parks in the state.  

It was during one of our jaunts that we discovered Lake Wallenpaupack in the Pocono Mountains.  It was a place I had heard about from my work colleagues.  During the summers especially, Lake Wallenpaupack seemed to be a popular place for locals (and visitors alike) for its proximity from most major northeastern/mid-Atlantic cities like New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.

Lake Wallenpaupack, located in the Pocono Mountains region of northeastern Pennsylvania, is the second largest lake after Raystown Lake, that is contained entirely within the state of Pennsylvania.  The word “Wallenpaupack” is a Lenape Indian word meaning “the stream of swift and slow water”.

On our pack’s first visit there way back around 2016 or so, we learned that the popular lakeside hiking trail, Wallenpaupack Lake Trail, a 1.5 mile trail, is off limits to dogs!  We couldn’t believe it.  We had driven all the way up to the Poconos and we couldn’t walk there…

Defeated but still hopeful, we asked someone at the Pocono Mountains Visitor Center Lake Wallenpaupack for hiking trail recommendations where dogs are welcome.  They recommended a trail about a mile up from the visitor center but we soon discovered the trail was way too wooded, and we didn’t want to risk our dog getting a tick or worse.  So in the end, we gave up hiking that trail.

We came down to town and ordered some delicious lunch at the excellent the Boat House.  We ate the food out on the porch overlooking the lake while Toby was doing his best to get our attention so we would give him some of our food!  We remember feeding him crunchy French fries and bits of our sandwich which he voraciously ate.

Afterwards, we walked around the town, first checking out the beautiful boat ramp right near the restaurant for a closer look at the lake.  We headed deeper into town, walking along the main thoroughfare, Lake Wallenpaupack Road.  

Some of the most memorable things about that trip were several despite not being able to walk along the lake: 1) the epic drive to/from our home to the lake, 2) that majestic lake, and 3) the tasty lunch.  We vowed to go back one of these days…

That “one of these days” was in August 2023 when we had an opportunity to visit the lake for the second time.  One of our friends invited us to their home in the Poconos for several nights, which we wholeheartedly agreed!  I mean, what’s not to like here?  A beautiful home in the Poconos with close proximity to many awesome attractions???  I can’t so “no” to that…

So, on a beautiful summer day, we headed out to Lake Wallenpaupack to finally walk around the lake!  Here are some of our favorite things to do in and around the lake:

  • The lake, of course!
The lake is comprised of 52 miles of shoreline, length of 13 miles, and maximum depth of 60 feet, making it one of the largest in the state.  For most visitors not taking a boat ride, the best view of the lake is found along the intersection of Route 6 and Lake Wallenpaupack Road.  

It’s a quite striking view of the road/town on right with lake on the left as you’re walking along.  It is a beautiful and unique view compared to many lakes we’ve visited in the past.


One of our favorite views!

There are many beautiful places to enjoy the lake: there’s a beach to swim in during the summers, a marina for all your water activities, or to grab a table to simply view the ever changing scenery of the lake. 

 
The beach area 

Marina area

  • Wallenpaupack Lake Trail

At distance of 1.5 mile, this trail is perfect for just about everyone.  The trail is flat, with mostly dirt road that partially wraps around the contours of the lake.  It is one of the most scenic walking trails we’ve been on near a lake.

There’s always something to see: a majestic lake, a marina, a nice wooded area, bunch of wildflowers, and the very impressive visitor center with clean bathrooms!  We took our time walking the trail, first parking at Lake Wallenpaupack Trail Parking, near Route 6 and Lake Wallenpaupack Road.


This trail parking is not big, maybe it has spaces for 15-20 cars.  Being that we were there on a weekday helped, as we got one of only about 7 left by that time of the day, around 11 a.m.

After parking our car, we followed the well marked trail map and headed north, with the lake on our left.  We walked along the trail feeling great with views and a nice breeze blowing through.  We greeted several fellow walkers along the way, some with dogs.

Passing the marina, we went briefly into a wooded part of the trail with the lake no longer visible through the thick trees and underbrush.  Beautiful wild flowers greeted us, glistening in the bright sunlight.  As tiny and sometimes annoying gnats flew all around disturbed by our intrusion into the woods, we made it out onto the wide open area near the excellent visitor center.

We went inside to use the restroom and we found it really clean.  The visitor center wasn’t too shabby either with a small but still very informative look at various flora/fauna found nearby.  I particularly liked the display of a black bear!

Once outside the visitor center, we noticed a couple who looked like they were looking for the restroom.  We told them to use the ones inside the visitor center, and we escorted them to it.  We know what it’s like, trying to find something.  We like helping out fellow hikers, as we also got plenty of help from others on our hikes…



We continued along the trail, checking out the beach.  After another 5 minutes, we saw a large camping area with tons of RV’s and boats near the boat launch.  We took a breather near that spot, sitting on a picnic table to take in the lake views.



We moved on after our short breather to finish our walk on the trail.  With plenty to see, the lake trail is a must do for everyone visiting the lake!

  • Awesome restaurants!
The first restaurant we visited, the Boat House, during our first trip there was great.  For our second trip, we were in the mood for some pizza, so we tried some at Reno’s Pizzeria, a no frills, order from the counter type of place.  

Reno’s Pizzeria, Lake Wallenpaupack, PA

With plenty of parking available, we walked inside to order a whole cheese pie, New York style, meaning thin crust with simple ingredients like mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. 

It was heavenly!  It was a perfectly balanced pizza with just the right amount of ingredients.  Fresh mozzarella cheese was delicious and so was the sauce.  Baked perfectly in the oven, it was simply phenomenal.

We’ve had our share of delicious pizzas growing up in New York City, and Reno’s Pizzeria got it just right.  It reminded us of our childhood when we would pick up a slice on our way home from school, playing arcade games and just having fun like all kids do.

Pizza was so good, we ordered a steak & cheese sandwich and a baked ziti to take home, in addition to the pizza.  With good, friendly service, excellent food, and good prices, Reno’s should be on your list of restaurants to visit if you’re in the mood for excellent pizza!

On our way back home, we stopped by at a nearby supermarket, Lake Region IGA, to pick up few things.  As we were perusing the aisle, we saw a sushi counter where a friendly Asian chef was making sushi.  We had to pick some up as dinner!

They were delicious and much cheaper than going to a sushi restaurant.  For a quick meal ideas while visiting the lake area, the supermarket’s ready to eat foods may be a good way to save some money, while ensuring satisfying, quality foods.

In conclusion:

It may have taken us over 7 years to revisit the lake, but it’s always better late than never!  We finally got to walk the Lake Wallenpaupack Trail, and found awesome places to eat.  The lake, was beautiful as ever, and it was exactly as we remembered it…

Even on a hot summer day, the nice breeze blowing across the lake really made things comfortable walking and exploring.  There’s nothing quite like enjoying a summer day with the lake breeze blowing in your face with nice views all around.

We know we barely scratched the surface of Lake Wallenpaupack area, but we also know we will be revisiting it, hopefully many more times in the future.  It is one of the most beautiful lakes in the state with a nice combination of natural beauty, restaurants/shops, and plenty of things to do.  We highly recommend it!

Thank you for reading and continuing to follow us on our adventures!  Happy trails!


Jake

Wandering Money Pig 




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